Top 10 Vehicle Accessories for Camping, Fishing, and Hunting Trips


In many parts of the country, fall is the ideal time to pack up the truck and trailer and head out on a hunting, fishing or camping adventure. I like to do it all and often head to a nearby state or national park, or to a friend's farm where there's acreage and an ideal spot for camping in the woods. At the very least, this is an annual trip, and one I've taken so many times that I don't even need to look at a list to confirm I've packed everything.

Over the years, I've found tools and accessories — sometimes the hard way — that have made my trips and cargo hauling a little easier by increasing the convenience factor. Here you'll find a list of my top 10 favorite trip accessories.

1. Magnetic key case – My '95 F-150 had four-wheel drive, but it didn't have remote keyless entry or a keypad, which wasn't a problem until I locked the keys in the cab on a camping trip in the mountains. I now have a magnetic key holder hidden on all my vehicles to prevent future lockouts.

2. Liquid transfer tanks – Whether it's for the snowmobiles, UTVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, generator or a combination of all of the above, one of us always has a liquid transfer tank in the truck bed so we can keep all of our fun fueled up throughout the weekend.

3. Pet partition – Road trip or camping trip, Charlie and Oscar are two dogs who like to ride. I love their company too, but I don't want them jumping from seat to seat, getting hair everywhere or trying to get into the food I have packed while we're traveling. Plus, I want to keep them safer in the event I stop short, so I contain them to the rear cargo area with a pet partition.

4. Roof-mounted cargo rack or hitch-mounted cargo tray – There's rarely enough room inside the vehicle for everything we need to take, particularly if it's a longer holiday weekend or weeklong trip, so I gave myself some extra carrying capacity. Depending on what I need to haul, I stow the gear on the roof in a cargo rack or on a tray off the rear hitch, secure it and go.

5. Weather-resistant cargo bags – These save the day when traveling through snow or rain, and they look a lot classier than having everything stowed in plastic garbage bags.

6. Cargo net – If you're hauling gear in a truck bed or trailer and are worried about it blowing away once you're up to speed, invest in a cargo net. It's a lot safer and cheaper than having to go out and replace whatever you just lost to the side of the road.

7. Straps – Extra carrying capacity comes with the responsibility to other drivers that the load is properly secured. I like ratcheting tie-down straps because they get nice and snug and give me confidence that my load isn't going to shift or fly away. For organizing gear – including sleeping bags, extension cords and hoses – I use Velcro straps that keep everything from becoming a tangled mess.

8. Mounts – I use my UTV everywhere and for everything, whether it's work or play-related, and it's trailered behind me on almost every camping or hunting trip. I found the easiest and safest way to haul things on it, whether it's a weed-eater or a gun, is with a mount that attaches to the roll bar.

9. Cooler – Inside the truck, I got tired of messing with ice to keep my drinks and snacks cool when traveling from home to the campsite. I solved that problem with a 12V cooler that plugs into my dash and does the work for me, with an added bonus of keeping warm food at temperature, too.

10. 12V Heater – I only use this for emergencies now, but there was a brief period of time when my car's blower motor went out in November, and I relied on this little heat source to do the trick until I could get the motor fixed.

What are your must-have accessories when headed out on a camping trip to the woods or a road trip to grandma's house for Thanksgiving?

Editor's note: Make your next trip easier with vehicle accessories that provide extra room, comfort or security. Advance Auto Parts can help. Buy online, pick up in store, in 30 minutes.

Last updated February 11, 2021